The Michael Jackson East Texans remember

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Through song and dance, pop icon Michael Jackson's artistic legacy spans through several generations. "It kind of brought people together in a sense of dance," said Megan Whitmire, Michael Jackson fan. "Everybody knew his dances moves, black people, white people, Hispanics, everybody did his dance moves."

"My little cousins that are ten years old know his songs and have them on their iPods and things like that," said Alexandra Gossett, Michael Jackson fan.

Some believe it was Jackson's fluid dance moves that sprung him to superstardom. "Dancing," said Brandon Thacker, Michael Jackson fan. "Dancing always comes to mind when you think of Michael Jackson, the moon walk is a very popular dance."

"You honestly could not take your eyes off of him," said Ashley Burks, Michael Jackson fan.

Front and center since Jackson hit the stage at age 5, and the rest, they say, is history. "I remember being on my 10 speed bicycle driving around Lufkin listening to my Sony Walkman with the "Thriller" tape in there, and you know I remember that," said Dan Patrick, KFOX 95.5 Program Director.

Patrick said "The King of Pop" broke down barriers, and the rest of the music world followed. "I think the racial barrier was the type of music more than anything," said Patrick. "There wasn't a lot of black kids out there singing pop music, they were staying in specific genres and he's the one who broke through the genre and I think everybody was willing to accept it."

"He got everyone to enjoy pop music just for what it was, not about the color of your skin," said Gossett.

Michael Jackson was a dazzling performer. From "the moon walk" to "Thriller", he was able to captivate audiences worldwide.

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